Reconciling expert advice and community opinion in a local government strategic planning process
Simpson, Ken; Bretherton, Phil
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Citation:Simpson, K., & Bretherton, P. (2010). Reconciling expert advice and community opinion in a local government strategic planning process. International Journal of Public Administration, 33(2), 73–80. doi: 10.1080/01900690903188883
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1716
This article proposes that the eventual outcomes of local government strategic policy deliberations can often reflect the interplay between “expert” administrative staff, democratically elected politicians, and the community they jointly serve. A multi-site case study approach, to examine the generation of local government strategy related to a niche economic activity concludes that broadly conceptualized opinion congruence can sometimes be threatened by substantial pockets of stakeholder vested interest. As such, “expert” and “political” opinion reflects a caution based on both historical experience and political expediency; while community opinion displays an optimism based on eager anticipation of an unknown future.